Washington: US President Joe Biden said the United States is on pace to complete its evacuation mission in Afghanistan by the end of August if the Taliban (banned in Russia) do not disrupt the operation.
“We are currently on a pace to finish by August 31,” Biden said during remarks at the White House on Tuesday. “But the completion by August 31 depends upon the Taliban continuing to cooperate and allow access to the airport for those who are transporting out and no disruptions to our operations.”
Biden said 19 US military aircraft with 6,400 evacuees and 31 Coalition flights with 5,600 evacuees flew out of Kabul in the past 12 hours. As of August 14, the United States has helped evacuate 70,700 people from Kabul, he noted.
Biden also said that he directed Secretary of State Antony Blinken to provide an update on Wednesday about the number of Americans who are still Afghanistan.
Biden underscored that US and allied forces at the Kabul airport face a growing risk of a possible attack from the Islamic State terror group (also banned in Russia).
Moreover, Biden said the evacuation operation at the Kabul airport runs a serious risk of breaking down if the mission is prolonged. He mentioned the firefight that broke out earlier this week when an armed person at the airport killed one afghan security officer and wounded three others.
The evacuation from Afghanistan of foreign nationals, diplomatic missions, and Afghan citizens has been underway since the takeover of Kabul by the movement on August 15, and has been marked by unrest in the airport, where evacuation flights are taking place.